Tag Archives: healthy habits

Healthy Weight Loss and Healthy Living Blogs:Extending Your Knowledge


 

Positive Approaches

Hi. It’s Monica here. How’s it all going out there?

Hope you have gotten over yesterday’s discussion about the wrong way to approach weight loss!!  It was a bit graphic, I know.  And…er, a bit…yuk!

I guess I just wanted to contrast the unhealthy effects of some weight loss methods with other more self respecting and self loving ones, which I know can work. Basically, I am an advocate of approaching personal change (specifically weight loss) from a standpoint of positivity and life affirming attitudes.

Some fad diets and quick fixes simply don’t do that.

Healthy Living Blogs

Anyhowzie…today I just have a bit of news about a new community which I have recently become a member of.

I posted my first post for them a few weeks ago and it has been a real pleasure meeting other like minded people who share my approach to living a healthy life. They are a called Healthy Living Blogs and in case you happen to be someone who might also be interested in joining such a community, here is a short blurb about them, for your interest.  

Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you’re interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to healthylivingblogs@gmail.com and check the site out for yourself!

  • Email subject line: MEMBERS
  • Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)
  • Blog Name
  • Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)
  • Your twitter handle, if applicable
  • Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy’s sake, that is completely understandable. We’ll simply include your blog listing in the A-Z listing, not by location, too)
  • Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)

I post this information in the hope that some of the resources you might find at Healthy Living Blogs will help extend your knowledge or perhaps to clarify a solution to some specific issue you may be having on your weight loss journey.

I am eager to help you in anyway I can….

Hope you have a happy weekend,

Mon 🙂

Incidental Exercise Habits – Simple Ways To Add More Activity To Your Day


 

 

“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

 Mark Twain quote.

Good To Have You Here

Hello and thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you have, but I must tell you that your very act of sitting here and reading (along with my very act of sitting here and writing) is the subject under scrutiny today. I just wanted to warn you in advance, but stay comfortable (I am) and let’s get into it.

Sitting

Yes, we are talking about sitting: that non physical activity, similar to lying down, that involves very little muscle use or movement. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to either of those positions, per se, however, until someone pointed it out to me, I never really took much notice of how much incidental sitting I actually did in a day.. 

A Modern Day Ill

‘Sititis’, as I have come to know it, could even be classified as a widespread, modern-day ill, created perhaps by the increasing use of machines (like computers!), office desks, televisions, cars and countless other ‘labour saving devices’. 

And the trouble with all this sitting (as I see it) is that it removes the natural and incidental activity enjoyed by our predecessors (and I’m only going back a couple of decades here). Remember those people who didn’t have TV remotes and who did not jump in the car for every travel event in their day? Those people whose kids walked to school, who walked to the shops, who used stairs more than elevators and well….I think you get my drift. There was far more activity in their day.

What To Do?

As I myself need to sit for extended periods to write, I decided long ago, that I needed to combat this potential decline in my own physical activity levels, by getting up from my computer and desk at least once every hour.

Sometimes I just stretch a little, take a short (or long) walk, practice some yoga moves (which is kind of the same as stretching)…as long as I  do something to break up an otherwise long stretch of physical inactivity.  And I always return to my writing, a little more refreshed.

As I began to think about this subject more, I also came up with a few other simple ways to get more movement into your day that I thought I’d share. Of course, I am not advocating that this type of activity replaces any structured or group activities you may already enjoy. No, it’s just a few extra ways to get your body moving.

The Ideas

1. Park your car a longer than normal distance away from where your work, office, school, the shopping centre or whatever your destination is and walk the remaining distance. Simple.  Easy.  No need to change your routine much for that one.

2. Take the stairs, instead of the lift or elevator, wherever and whenever you can.  This can add many steps to your day and over the next several days and weeks you will burn many more calories than you would have done otherwise.

3. Take the kids to the park.  It’s fun….walk, chase, climb, play ball with them or run after them….just be that little bit more active and have some fun too!

4. I wasn’t going to add ‘chasing Bush Turkeys out of the garden’ on the list, but I just did, as it looks as though it is something that I will be doing at regular intervals today.

I have gotten up three times as I have been writing this to ‘encourage’ my noisy (and destructive) bush visitors away from our garden. Darn things!

Anyhow, do you have any ideas for something fun and different that adds activity to your day? Do you prefer incidental type exercise or a more structured approach to activity such as classes, routines or group training?

Perhaps at some time in your life, extended sitting (at a computer or desk) has caused you to suffer a sore back, neck or shoulders? Did you find that movement or exercise helped the situation? 

 

Eating, Weight Loss, Cravings and Addictions – A Self Determined Way Out


 

The Yo Yo Lifestyle Syndrome

Do you struggle with cravings, emotional eating, or dieting ups and downs?

Many of us have or will in our lifetimes. Which is okay, ‘cos it means that we have been presented with a challenge and  (apparently) learning to overcome difficulties is what leads to positive growth in our lives. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

And, these days, it is what I have come to believe. Some spiritual followers even ask for such challenges to be thrown their way – so that they may learn and reach a higher level of functioning and living.

Self Limits

To us mere mortals, talk like this, can sometimes sound like complete claptrap.  Airy, fairy – pie in the sky kind of stuff.

But for me, I think there is some wisdom in there. I mean, basically if we leave the spiritual aspect out of it, why wouldn’t we want to learn new skills, achieve better habits and behaviours that can transport us out of the continual cycle of overeating  and the pain and regret the follows that behaviour. Who really wants to live in self-imposed misery? Of course, the answer is none of us do.  And each of us must search for our own ‘way out’.

The BIG GOAL Effect

I know there are many ‘paths’ we can take to overcome these challenges and each can be effective and motivational in their own way. But today I just wanted to share with you the one main reason that I follow a ‘good health plan’ (for want of a better description and I’m sure there is one).

Basically (and I can’t believe that I am actually going to write this thought down, but anyway, here it is)…. I want to live forever.

Huh? Okay, so I do know that the ‘forever’ bit is probably stretching it a bit, but I figure why not go for the BIG GOAL to keep me motivated and adhering to a life of good habits.

Old Age or New Awareness

The reason I have chosen this as my BIG GOAL is that I have observed so many people in older age that seem to live unhappy and restricted lives, that I know beyond a doubt, that I don’t want that. Whilst I have the deepest compassion for these friends who do suffer frailty and disease (I worked for several years in a rehabilitation ward), I know that some (maybe more than we realise) of the fragility we  habitually associate with aging, is actually avoidable. 

The Plan

So this is what I’ve decided:

1) When I am 80 I still want to be active – maybe not in the ‘let’s go for a 5km run’ active, but who knows?

2) I also know that when I am old, I don’t want to be under constant medical supervision, because of a ‘lifestyle disease’ that was totally preventable had I taken the appropriate lifestyle interventions decades before (bear in mind, I am talking about ‘lifestyle diseases’ here, not something that is totally out of an individuals control).

3) Lastly, I also want to be intellectually stimulated and still contributing to the world in a positive and meaningful way, when I am old, rather than sentenced to an existence of ill-health and struggle.

In short, I want a full life. An abundant life. An interesting life. And I want it to go on for a very long time.

Call me crazy, but I kinda like it here on the Big Blue Ball.

Longevity and Well Being

So that in brief, is my main motivation for wanting to learn, explore, develop and live a life that is centred around healthy eating, an active lifestyle and a conscious awareness of all that I can be and do.

Some people call it ‘living out your potential’, others call it ‘discipline’, others may even call it ‘obsession’. Whatever….labes aren’t important. Loving and living life to the full is all that really matters to me.

***********

Do you have ONE BIG GOAL that keeps you motivated and achieving your goals? Do you think ‘a healthy lifestyle’ is all it is cracked up to be? Maybe the adage ‘we’re here for a good time, not a long time’ is more apt to the way you think and live? I would love to hear your thoughts.

You certainly don’t have to agree with my musings to share a comment or thought. We’re all different (and what a boring world it would be if we weren’t) so please feel free to share whatever thoughts you have on this topic. Love to hear them 🙂

Communication, Weight Loss and The Food Marketing World (And How To Beat Them At Their Game)


 

 

Words and Communication – What Are We Really Saying?

The other night as I was cooking dinner, the familiar ‘you’ve just received a text’ sound echoed from the phone in my handbag. I ignored it (didn’t want to burn the chicken!) and later discovered that this particular message required some unexpected deciphering. Try as I might, I just didn’t (fully) understand what the person had said.

It wasn’t so much the symbols they had used. It was just that the overall message was not clear enough for me to know how to exactly how to respond. Unlike in a real conversation, where one person might say ‘So what do you think  or  feel about x, y or z ?’ and the other can respond appropriately, a text message often fails to include true emotion.

Many experts say that in this modern communication age, where we fail to include true emotion in much of what we communicate, we are damaging rather than the building foundations for good relationships. In the multitude of short ‘sound bites’ we send out, which do not include the face to face co-communicators of facial expression, body language or voice tone (as with txt, twitter, email, etc…) meaningful discourse, they say, is lost.

Of course we’re all getting good at fixing that problem with the inclusion of emoticons and other such symbols to convey our feelings. 🙂 Nothing wrong with that. 🙂 🙂

The Psychology of Words And Your Food Choices

Anyhow all this new awareness about words and communication has led me to notice the types of words used by marketers and manufacturers of certain food products. Recently, on one box of ice creams (single serves) I noticed all of the following words – heart, golden, heavenly, indulgent and perfect. All of these words described the moments you would feel or experience if you ate one of the above said ice creams.

 At one time in my life, I would have been fully swayed by such words. Many times after a busy day’s work, I was a hapless victim at the corner shop. Back then, I would always buy the snack, ice cream or confectionary item fully believing (at least at a subconscious level) that the food item called ‘Lift’ or ‘Heavenly Moment’ would actually produce the exact same effect in my life. Naive, I know.

These days however, being the food detective that I now am, I instead choose to look at the nutritional labels on items and understand the real facts. I know now that advertisers are playing a game with me.

How many of us would still be drawn to, for example, a plain box of ice-creams (no pictures, no attractive illustrations) with the words – regret, 400 calories, high sugar, high fat, little nutritional value?

No positive emotion conveyed there and quite possibly, no ice creams would be sold 😦

Debunking The Hype

Of course marketers know this and have become extremely adept at capturing our attention and manipulating our choices.  Whilst I admire their clever creativity, I know it’s all hype and rather than fall prey to their cause, I prefer, these days, to debunk their marketing hype, even as I read it. It’s kind of a habit now, but a good one and kind of fun.
I know in reality that the sugar marketeers can not improve my day or make me feel good, in any way shape or form. 

Only I can do that.

 I also know that there is no particular food which is better ‘for my busy lifestyle’ or ‘fun to eat’ or any of the other common food messages I frequently hear and read.

So how do you handle those ubiquitous ads for food? Do you find yourself persuaded by the words advertisers use and thus enticed to buy certain foods?  Or, do you ignore them and base your food choices on nutritional information rather than anything else on the box?

Also, what do you think about children being targeted with such advertising? What are our kids really learning about how to choose their foods?

I’d love to know what others think about this issue. What are your thoughts?

Fitness Training With Zero Motivation: Is It Possible To Achieve?


 

 

It’s Late Afternoon

I raise my arms to my car’s steering wheel and I can hardly lift them. My arms are heavy and every muscle quivers with a familiar, pleasant fatigue.  For a minute, I pause to acknowledge the warm  energy running through body and then slowly, I start the car’s engine. I feel good.

One Hour and 18oo mls of water, earlier……

I didn’t really want to work out today. At least, not all of me wanted to. My mind was the enthusiastic one. My body, a little fatigued from a late night looking after sick children, didn’t agree.

I began slowly, focussing on the loud, upbeat music playing in the room. In a few minutes my energy had lifted as another gym goer began working out beside me and  it didn’t seem long till  fifteen minutes on the cross trainer was gone. I looked at the workout record – 160 calories and 2 kilometres. Okay, I thought that is a start.

My first bottle of water was empty, so I refilled and moved to the weights room.  Weights, my mind began to groan. They’re heavy.

The Body/Mind Thing

My body was energised a little now, so thankfully it took over and I found myself pushing the chest press. Three sets of 12 reps.  And half a bottle of water.

My body wasn’t noticing it’s fatigue so much now. Good. Maybe I’ll get this done after all.

Onward and Upward

One weights exercise I have always loved is leg presses. Weird. I don’t know why I enjoy it so much, but when I recently pressed  60 kg of weight I was happy. Deliriously and ridiculously.  Maybe it’s because each time I add a little weight I remember this fit and energetic girl (younger than me) whom I met on my first gym visit. She was pushing 100 kg at the time and I was in total awe of her. I guess it was then that I began a subconscious desire to the same. And I’m getting a little closer each week.

There’s more??

Bicep curls aren’t much fun sometimes, but I did them anyway. A few sets on the high low pulley then saw my caesarean section scar nearly pop right open!! My abs were certainly being worked, as well as my triceps ( the muscles the machine is intended to target).

By now I was two bottles of water down and watching the clock. I am usually on a time restriction when I visit the gym, but I wasn’t leaving till I’d finished the workout. The fact that I’d forgotten my iPod was still annoying me though – I needed something to tune out the ads for funeral plans ( I know, what are they thinking???) that kept playing on the cable tv.

Argghh, I needed my music.

A Distraction

Thankfully it soon became a bit easier to ignore the intermittent ads as two rather strong (okay and good-looking) muscular guys entered the room. They smiled and even politely offered to carry a weight to my next machine for me. Thanks, but no thanks guys. I know I’m a woman, but I’m here to lift weights, so I will.

Still it feels good  to be treated well by your fellow humans and at a time when I may have been tempted to stop, I kept going.

A few distractions are good.

The Last Bit

The rest of the workout wasn’t hard at all. I refilled my water bottle for the third time and then did another 10 minutes on the cross trainer.

Yep, my muscles shook a little at the end, but my energy levels were high. I was glad I came.

Have you had days like this? Have you tried to get through a workout when motivation was low? Or perhaps  you’re still wondering whether weights and workouts are the thing for you?

Body Image Solutions Or How To Embrace True Health and Wellbeing


Accepting Ourselves and An Apology

First up, on Friday I posted what was supposed to be a bit of fun. And some of it was. Unfortunately though technology let me down. The animations didn’t work like they were supposed to. And the result? A few of the animations/pictures I posted were er….not so funny.  Sorry about that. Everything worked fine here on the site, but apparently that perfection did not transpose to the email copies sent out  to you wonderful people who subscribe. 

Needless to say, I won’t be using them again.

My apologies again to those whose copies were affected and now, on with the show…..

How Do You Feel About Your Body?

Body Image is something we are all hear about in the media, is it not?  And because of this image awareness, we are all well aware (or at least I hope we are) that the images portrayed in women’s magazines etc…are often not real (but are air brushed and technologically altered) and in many cases, not healthy.

Yet do our brains intelligently and reliably inform us of this truth? Or we still challenged by them? Maybe even threatened and discomforted by them?

From my own observations and the feedback I get, we are.

Time To Heal

So today I’d like to do what I can to help heal those feelings and encourage you to throw out some of those perjorative body labels you may have been subconsciously accepting.

Yep, throw them out – toss them out the window, dump them in the rubbish, flush them down the loo or whatever it takes to be rid of them ! You don’t need them !

The Reality

Your body is a beautiful and amazing living breathing entity.  Right now, without any conscious effort on your part, your heart goes on pumping your blood, your food goes on being digested, your hair grows and your skin repairs and renews all it’s little cuts and grazes. You are, in fact, a perfect and wonderful creation

Why not appreciate your body’s unique characteristics? Be, in awe, of it. Celebrate it. Love it.

The Truth

The comparisons we humans can make between one body and another is endless if we let it be. One person will be taller/shorter than yourself. Another more hairy. Thinner. Fatter. Older. Younger. Another has red hair/you have blond hair.

And that’s all fine. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same.

So today, right now, I’d like to encourage you to look beyond such comparisons and decide to love and appreciate ourselves (just a little bit more than usual).

Let’s decide today to celebrate our own uniqueness and individuality and love ourselves instead of constantly making reference to all that we perceive to be lacking.

Now to be clear, I’m not saying to give up on the weight loss journey. At all. Not even close. What I am saying is maybe it’s time to be  gentle with yourself. Take it easy. Breathe. Accept. And know that no matter what stage of the weight loss journey you are on; just beginning, haven’t started, half way there, you are still a beautiful human being.

A True Definition of Good Health

Good health is about more than having a great looking body. It is about nuturing and caring for your whole self – body, mind and spirit. It is about incorporating balance, moderation, peace of mind and awareness into your life. This means giving up the perjorative labels and negative talk!

Are you ready to give yourself a litte more self love today?

Avoiding The Weight Loss Blowout: How To Control Your Diet Choices and Stay Sane!


The Weight Loss Blowout

Okay so we’ve sworn off pizza for life, we don’t eat this and we don’t eat that….because we are trying to lose weight. Everybody knows that – our friends, our spouse, our workmates and so everybody should be doing their best to support us with our new resolution to eat healthy. Only they don’t.

Contrary to our own expectations, other people don’t always make things easy for us. In addition, certain events also come along to conspire against us.  The get together, the dinner party, the going away for someone at work party…..the list goes on. And for the person that is trying to follow a new and sensible eating plan, these events can sometimes be quite challenging. Often the very foods we have been succesfully avoiding for weeks or months suddenly make a BIG comeback  poking their sticky, gooey, sweet and calorific face in ours, tempting and begging us to eat them.

Impulsive Eating

Once upon a time, I would have had a lot of trouble at such food laden events. I would have eaten way too much and then gone home feeling pretty annoyed and regretful. These days though I like to employ a few strategies to help me through these unavoidable occasions. 

A Few Strategies

There is no doubt that when you’re in your own home or your own enviroment, self control is well, easier to control.   At home, once you’ve made up your mind to, you can clean out the pantry and get rid of the danger foods (you know the ones) that tempt you the most. This idea works because basically you can’t eat what isn’t there. 

Not so however, when you venture out.  This is when a little forward planning and mental preparation can make all the difference. 

First, take time to visualise the event you will be attending. Picture the people, the meal and see yourself standing or sitting there amidst it all.  See the tempting food.   Then, take time to decide there and then what (and how much) you will eat. Picture it on your plate. Smaller portions, healthy choices. Nothing more.

If a picture of a huge dessert or extra serves of a favourite food come into play while your doing this little mental exercise, try the following. Whilst still visualising the food, make a mental image of yourself shaking your head and saying no thanks. Yes, it’s simple. But it’s powerful and it works.

Repeat the visulisation as many times as you feel the need and then, when the event happens, your subconscious will already be programmed for better choices.

What Else?

Another trick is to pack your own healthy snacks and take them with you to the party or get together. If it is not a sit down meal with a set menu, but rather a table full of random food items, then having a healthy and prepared snack as a substitute, can be a life saver.

Lastly, never leave the house ravevously hungry!!  Always ensure you have had a filling (but calorie controlled) snack before going out.  Oh and don’t forget your water habit which I talked about a few posts ago. If you missed it and would like to have a read then, check it out here https://monsbiz.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/can-you-burn-fat-with-food/ 

The Last Bit

So dear friends….we all need to think ahead with our food choices when we are on a weight loss journey, especially when the amount and type of food presented is (seemingly) out of our control.  Don’t let the circumstance dictate your behaviour, but rather decide on your behaviour before the circumstance arrives.  It is possible to achieve. Why not try it next time such a time arrives for you? You may actually surprise yourself with just how well you can control your choices.

Hope these ideas are of help to you.  They certainly have worked for me! 

I would love to hear about any issues you may have encountered in trying to control your food choices. Do you find other people supportive or do you sometimes feel that others may be trying to sabotage your efforts? You’re not alone on your journey, you know.  Many of us have been through the same things, so feel free to talk or if you’re not comfortable with that, why not just say hi! 

Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Reframe Weightloss team.

Ciao everyone…..

Mon ( )